Snakes in a Tree

Male skink with a red head and a female black rat snake

Male skink with a red head and a female black rat snake

Male skinks have red heads in spring

Male skinks have red heads in spring

Emerging after a long, cold winter

Emerging after a long, cold winter

Green caterpillar hat

Green caterpillar hat

See the tiny caterpillar??

See the tiny caterpillar??

Climbing up the tree, this female is spreading her scent...

Climbing up the tree, this female is spreading her scent…

Climbing...

Climbing…

Ssssss

Ssssss

Aaaannd back in the hole

Aaaannd back in the hole

And who's this?

And who’s this?

A gentleman caller?

A gentleman caller?

Into the nest...(and check out a third snake up higher in the branch in the background!)

Into the nest…(and check out a third snake up higher in the branch in the background!)

Slithering...

Slithering…

Heyyy!

Heyyy!

Snake yawn?

Snake yawn?

Snake smile?

Snake smile?

Love is in the air

Love is in the air

Scandelous snakes!

Scandelous snakes!

Check out their lighter colored bellies

Check out their lighter colored bellies

Wrapped

Wrapped

Snake acrobats

Snake acrobats

Snake...

Snake…

Cirque de soleil

Cirque du soleil

Hanging snakes

Hanging snakes

Twisted snakes

Twisted snakes

Baby watching from the window of our house!

Baby watching from the window of our house!

Like ropes!

Like ropes!

See you around snakes! Hopefully well before I step on you!!! AGGHH!

See you around snakes! Hopefully well before I step on you!!! AGGHH!

The female went back into her nest in the tree and the male slithered off under our deck/house. These antics went on for hours today. It was so crazy to watch! They are nonpoisonous black rat snakes. We spotted them once in 2009 and once in 2012. We have never seen any babies hatch (maybe this year?!) Are we hosting a colony of these? AGgggghhhh! Cool and amazing, but pretty freaky too!

14 thoughts on “Snakes in a Tree

  1. Pingback: Pictureless Post | Spy Garden

  2. Pingback: Our New Summer House Guest | Fragments from Floyd

  3. Alan @ it's not work, it's gardening!

    This is completely amazing! I saw a black rat snake once (here in suburban St. Louis) and it freaked me out — large snake! I read that they climb trees but actually seeing it is another thing altogether. So I guess you’re not going to climb up there to take photos of the nest for us? :)

    Reply
    1. Spy Garden Post author

      No I will not be climbing the tree (or any tree!) any time soon hahaha. But I think they are here to stay so will keep enjoying them from a safe distance!! Really, the only “bad” thing about them is their scary (but cool!) looks!

      Reply
  4. narf77

    Gorgeous and amazing photos. I think you nailed the awesomeness this week, what with a snake with a green caterpillar hat, cirque de Soleil amorous snakes and snakes in a hole AND snake breeding within a stones through of your house. You WIN Ms Spy! I bet the kids were UBER excited by it all. Snakes are like Pitbulls. They have a bad reputation that they really don’t deserve. We have a natural fear of them but flip side…no rats. :)

    Reply
    1. Spy Garden Post author

      Thanks! They are mesmerizing and I have a new hobby which is: stare at the trees in my yard looking for climbing snakes (which we have spottted them several more times and will post more snake pictures soon!)! I’ve never seen a rat in/around our house, maybe this is why!

      Reply
  5. Eliza Waters

    Wow, fascinating, despite the creep factor! The kids must have loved it. You chronicled the mating in great detail. It is rather acrobatic. Interesting that you see it only every 3 years. I just looked them up and because egg production takes so much out of the female (a third of her body weight) she only reproduces every 2-3 years. It takes 9 yrs. for her to gain sexual maturity. So she is at least 15, by that reckoning.
    I know they are benign and good to have as predators of small rodents, but it is startling when you come upon them suddenly – yikes! I’m a big screamer or maybe ‘yelper’ is a better description when startled. Cool post!

    Reply
    1. Spy Garden Post author

      We have spotted them several more times (more pics coming soon!) and mating AGAIN to boot! Definitely startling…and mesmerizing!

      Reply
  6. g

    Great picture story. We recently had a large black snake invade one of our bluebird houses. Oh dear!

    Reply

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